Nothing says Valentine’s Day like red roses and dark chocolate. Those are typical gifts exchanged in the hopes of exciting one’s sweetheart, on what can universally be considered the most romantic day of the year, or corporate love day depending on how one looks at the situation.
While those types of gifts have become the established norm, another alternative option has been edging its way into the hearts and minds of gifters around the world. It’s the edible kind of Valentines gift that you don’t find at the local love stop – fresh fruit baskets arranged to look like bouquets, hearts and other affectionate images that can now arouse the stomach too.
This type of business has been slowly gaining in popularity, especially the past few years.
“Valentines Day is a holiday that is very last minute and that’s why Wednesday is insane and Thursday will be even crazier,” says Lee-Ann Johnson, owner of Edible Arrangements in Mission Park Shopping Centre.
“Big times are usually Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas and then we do a lot of corporate and regular stuff in between too.”
Johnson gets her fruit from local vendors and sometimes places her orders up to two weeks in advance of major holidays, just to ensure she can keep up with demand.
“I would like to give them a warning – as an example, I ordered 40 flats of strawberries. That’s a lot of strawberries but we’ll probably go through them all,” she says, adding that pineapple, grapes, strawberries, honeydew and cantaloupe are also big this time of year.
“It’s something different. Most people are used to giving the regular flowers and the chocolates or maybe a fruit basket. This combines all the best of those three worlds: you’re getting chocolate, you’re getting fruit and you’re getting a floral bouquet – so basically it’s three gifts in one.“
The store will even hire on temporary workers to keep up with demand and streamline their business model in some cases by simplifying their menu of edible options.
“It really is catching on, a lot of people like it because it is different.”